Sunday, December 5, 2021

Holiday Treats - Homemade English Toffee

Merry Christmas! Do you have any holiday traditions? I have a tradition that I've been continuing since 2014. Every year I try to make a unique Christmas treat that I've never made before. It all started when a friend shared Disneyland's recipe for gingerbread. I made gingerbread for the first time that year and have been trying something new ever since. 

First I made Gingerbread Men (2014), Homemade Candy Canes (2015), Fudge (2016), Peppermint Marshmallows (2017), Figgy Pudding (2018), Eggnog (2019), and last year I made a Holiday Yule Log (2020).

This year I am making a holiday favorite around this house. English Toffee! Let's get this started!

For my toffee today, I'm going to be topping it with toasted almonds. These slivered almonds are going to be toasted on the stovetop in a little bit of butter. After a few minutes they are starting to smell amazing. They're going to make the perfect topper for my toffee. 

The recipe I'm basing things off of is from biggerbolderbaking.com and as long as you have a thermometer it's actually a very simple process to follow. Into the pot went butter, sugar, and vanilla. I also added a tablespoon of corn syrup that the recipe didn't call for. 

While I was busy in the kitchen, Theresa was serenading everyone with Christmas songs on the guitar. 

This is starting to come up to temperature. 

Once we hit the boiling point of water, things started to get very bubbly. 

We're going for sugar in the temperature range between the soft crack stage (taffy) and the hard crack stage (hard candy). Once it hits 285F it's ready to come off the stove. 

And then get poured onto a prepared baking sheet. 

Mmm. Look at that. 

That is ready for some topping. 

English toffee needs a chocolate topping. I used a few of the milk chocolate Hershey bars we'd collected from the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania, along with some Nestle semi-sweet morsels. That went into a double boiler along with a small bit of shortening to loosen the chocolate a bit. 

Perfect!

I spread the chocolate over the still warm toffee mixture. 

And before the chocolate sets, all the toasted almonds go onto the wet chocolate.

The recipe suggested putting it into the fridge for an hour to set the chocolate, but I'm in Colorado. I just set it in the garage where the temperature is in the 40s. That's work just fine. 

The next day when everything was set, I used a sharp knife to cut everything into beautiful diamond shapes. 

Theresa and Megan were watching me like hawks, ready to pounce on any pieces that didn't look like they were going to make it. These leftover slivers would be perfect on top of ice cream. I didn't have any ice cream handy so I just grabbed a spoon. It was so good!

Those look fantastic!

Everyone in my family loves English Toffee, but my mom loves it especially. I remember one year when my dad ordered toffee from someone in his office as a Christmas gift for her and it was so good. The only problem was that there was a limited amount. You didn't want to eat too many of them. 

But I've got a bunch of these, and they are so good! The toffee base is perfect! It cracks and shatters just like it is supposed to. The semi-sweet chocolate helped keep the chocolate from being too sweet. That toasted almonds were so good too! This was great and it went super quick! 

Which meant that I needed to make a second batch. And then a third batch... 
It was very good and somehow it kept disappearing from the tin in the kitchen. 

And so the night before I left, Megan and I made a double batch for everyone to enjoy after we're gone. I handled the butter and sugar. She toasted the nuts. This time we're using toasted pecans. 

The results were fantastic! Pecans might be even better than the toasted almonds! 
I think this has been a very successful homemade Christmas treat this year!

1 comment:

  1. YUM, YUM, YUM...delicious!...wonderful homemade English Toffee!...can never make too many batches :-) I like the idea of the pecans over the almonds (both nuts are good but pecans are just so good tasting, even on its own). Good to see the Christmas holiday tradition being kept up! (no baking for me...I'm just a taster :-) ) Nice to have Theresa leading Christmas carols with her new guitar skills. First it was the warm truck for dough rising, now it's the cold garage for toffee cooling! :-) EOM

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